Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Fact Sheet | Gulf Coast Leisure and Hospitality Employment and Wages | June 2010

Gulf Coast Leisure and Hospitality Employment and Wages

The leisure and hospitality industry makes an important contribution to the local economies along the Gulf Coast, providing a large share of their employment. Leisure and hospitality services include a wide variety of activities that attract tourists such as resorts, recreational parks, sporting events, concerts, restaurants, and hotel lodgings.

Not including bays and inland waters, the U.S. Gulf coastline spans approximately 1,631 miles. [1] The U.S. Gulf is bordered by five States (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas). There are 53 counties and parishes that line the coast in these five States. (See table 2.) These areas are the most vulnerable to damages from the April 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Among these five States, Florida has the largest number of coastal counties at risk (23), followed by Texas (14), Louisiana (11), Mississippi (3), and Alabama (2). The leisure and hospitality industry in these coastal areas could be seriously affected by this recent disaster.

Employment

Table A. U.S. and Gulf Coast Employment, September 2009
Area Private industry Leisure and hospitality Leisure and hospitality
as percent of private industry

Total, United States

106,481,670 13,180,374 12.4

Total, Gulf Coast counties

3,068,086 455,107 14.8

Alabama

187,571 25,203 13.4

Florida

1,742,838 257,234 14.8

Louisiana

520,611 76,391 14.7

Mississippi

115,059 25,662 22.3

Texas

502,007 70,617 14.1

The leisure and hospitality industry accounted for 455,107 jobs in this combined Gulf area in September 2009, which is the most recent period for which data are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. This industry's employment represented 14.8 percent of all private sector jobs in these Gulf Coast counties. Employment in the leisure and hospitality industry for the entire Nation was 13.2 million in September 2009 and accounted for 12.4 percent of private industry employment. The importance of leisure and hospitality in the Gulf Coast is evident by the industry's greater share of employment in this area relative to the Nation as a whole. This share was above the U.S. average in the combined coastal counties in all five States with the largest share found in Mississippi's combined Gulf area (22.3 percent).

Gulf Coast Counties Leisuire and Hospitality Employment, September 2009

Within this Gulf area, nearly 60 percent of the employment in leisure and hospitality was distributed among 10 counties and parishes, each with employment greater than 15,000 in this industry in September 2009. Five Florida counties were included in the top 10, along with 2 Louisiana parishes and 1 county each in Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. Hillsborough County, Florida, had the largest number of jobs in leisure and hospitality (56,767), followed by Pinellas County, Florida (42,474), and Orleans Parish, Louisiana (30,735).

The share of employment within the leisure and hospitality industry exceeded the national average in 7 of the top 10 coastal counties and parishes (as measured by employment in leisure and hospitality). Harrison County, Mississippi, had the largest concentration of employment in the leisure and hospitality industry (29.3 percent), which is more than twice the national average. Orleans Parish, Louisiana, followed closely with 23.1 percent of their jobs coming from leisure and hospitality services.

Concentration of Gulf Coast Counties Leisuire and Hospitality Employment, September 2009

Location quotients can be used to compare the industrial activity levels, such as employment, among different areas of the country and to express the relationship between an area's share of a particular industry and the national share. [2] In September 2009, Monroe County, Florida, which includes the islands of the Florida Keys, had the highest location quotient in this Gulf area (2.9), which indicates that Monroe had nearly 3 times the percentage of workers employed in leisure and hospitality as the percentage employed in the Nation. (See table 1.) Five other coastal counties and parishes had a location quotient above 2.0, while 7 had a location quotient above 1.4. Seven counties had the same relative share of workers employed in leisure and hospitality as the national total. Cameron Parish, Louisiana, has the smallest location quotient (0.2). Overall, the economy in this combined Gulf area had 20 percent more of their workers employed in leisure and hospitality compared with the U.S. average in this period, as indicated by the area's location quotient of 1.2.

Leisure and Hospitality Employment, United States 
and Gulf Coast Counties, January 2000–September 2009

During the period January 2007 to September 2009, employment in the leisure and hospitality industry peaked earlier in the combined Gulf Coast counties than for the Nation as a whole. Within this combined Gulf region, leisure and hospitality employment was strongest between March and June. This industry's employment tended to peak in April and contracted to its lowest point of a 12-month cycle in October in this area. For the Nation, the number of leisure and hospitality jobs reached its highest point in June for the 2008 and 2009 periods. The highest point in 2007 occurred in August. The lowest employment levels for the Nation in this industry occurred in January during this period.

Employment in Leisure and Hospitality, United States and Gulf Coast Counties, Over-the-year percent change, January 2008–September 2009

In the first half of 2008, over-the-year employment growth in leisure and hospitality was stronger in this Gulf Coast area than in the Nation as a whole. During this period, employment declines over the year in this industry first occurred in September 2008, 1 month earlier than experienced in the United States overall. Compared with those of the Nation, over-the-year job losses in leisure and hospitality were less severe in this Gulf area between October 2008 and September 2009. The lowest rate of job losses during this period in the Gulf was −2.1 percent, compared with −3.3 percent in the Nation.

In September 2009, the Nation was shedding leisure and hospitality jobs at a rate of −2.9 percent, while this industry's decline was −0.8 percent in this Gulf area. Thirty-nine of the area's 53 counties and parishes had over-the-year employment change above the national average, with 24 posting over-the-year job gains. Among the 10 largest coastal counties, Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish both added jobs in leisure and hospitality over the year, 1.9 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, in September 2009. Eight of the top 10 Gulf counties and parishes had employment declines in this industry in September 2009. The largest over-the-year employment decline was in Collier, Florida (−8.6 percent), followed by Harrison, Mississippi (−6.9 percent).

Wages

In third quarter 2009, total wage payments disbursed to workers employed within the leisure and hospitality industry totaled $2.2 billion in this combined Gulf area. This constituted 7.4 percent of all private industry wage payments in this area. The average weekly wage for workers employed in leisure and hospitality in this combined coastal area was $361, which was only slightly higher than the U.S. industry average ($357). These wages represented less than half the average weekly wages of other private industry workers in the Gulf Coast. Only 14 coastal counties (26.4 percent) had average weekly wages above the national average for the industry. Among the 10 largest coastal counties in terms of the number of leisure and hospitality jobs, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, had the highest average weekly wage ($479) in this industry, which was 34 percent above the U.S. average for leisure and hospitality. Mobile County, Alabama, had the lowest average weekly wage ($268) in leisure and hospitality, which was 25 percent below the Nation's average for this industry. Among the 53 coastal counties, leisure and hospitality workers in Kenedy County, Texas, had the highest average weekly wages ($594), while Chambers County, Texas, workers posted the lowest average weekly wages ($207) in the industry.

Average weekly wages, Gulf Coast counties and the United States, leisure and hospitality and total private, third quarter 2009

In the combined Gulf Coast area, average weekly wages for all private industry workers in the third quarter of 2009 averaged $727, which was 12.2 percent below the U.S. average ($828). Among the 53 coastal counties, average weekly wages of private industry workers ranged from a high of $1,029 in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, to a low of $462 in Levy County, Florida. The average weekly wages of private industry workers fell below the national average in 42 of the 53 counties (79 percent). Among the coastal counties with the largest employment, Orleans posted the highest average weekly wage for private industry workers in the third quarter of 2009 ($882).

Table 1. Gulf Coast Leisure and Hospitality Employment, Percent of Private Industry and Location Quotient, September 2009
Area Leisure and hospitality percent
share of private industry
(U.S. = 12.4 percent)
Location quotient

Total, Gulf Coast counties

14.8 1.2

Monroe County, Florida

36.1 2.9

Franklin County, Florida

30.5 2.5

Harrison County, Mississippi

29.3 2.4

Aransas County, Texas

28.3 2.3

Walton County, Florida

28.2 2.3

Hancock County, Mississippi

24.6 2.0

Orleans Parish, Louisiana

23.1 1.9

Galveston County, Texas

21.5 1.7

Bay County, Florida

21.2 1.7

Gulf County, Florida

20.5 1.7

Baldwin County, Alabama

19.8 1.6

Collier County, Florida

19.7 1.6

Okaloosa County, Florida

19.3 1.6

Lee County, Florida

17.7 1.4

Santa Rosa County, Florida

17.1 1.4

Wakulla County, Florida

17.0 1.4

Hernando County, Florida

16.6 1.3

Kleberg County, Texas

16.6 1.3

St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana

16.5 1.3

Charlotte County, Florida

16.3 1.3

Sarasota County, Florida

15.7 1.3

San Patricio County, Texas

15.5 1.3

Dixie County, Florida

15.4 1.2

Jefferson County, Florida

14.6 1.2

Nueces County, Texas

14.6 1.2

Levy County, Florida

14.1 1.1

Pasco County, Florida

14.1 1.1

Chambers County, Texas

13.9 1.1

Escambia County, Florida

13.4 1.1

Manatee County, Florida

13.2 1.1

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

12.9 1.0

Citrus County, Florida

12.6 1.0

Cameron County, Texas

12.5 1.0

Pinellas County, Florida

12.4 1.0

Brazoria County, Texas

12.2 1.0

St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana

12.1 1.0

Hillsborough County, Florida

11.8 1.0

Matagorda County, Texas

11.7 0.9

Jefferson County, Texas

11.2 0.9

Mobile County, Alabama

11.1 0.9

Willacy County, Texas

10.9 0.9

Jackson County, Mississippi

10.5 0.8

Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana

10.1 0.8

Vermilion Parish, Louisiana

9.4 0.8

Taylor County, Florida

9.2 0.7

St. Mary Parish, Louisiana

9.1 0.7

Lafourche Parish, Louisiana

8.7 0.7

Calhoun County, Texas

8.4 0.7

Jackson County, Texas

7.3 0.6

Iberia Parish, Louisiana

6.7 0.5

Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana

6.5 0.5

Kenedy County, Texas

3.6 0.3

Cameron Parish, Louisiana

2.3 0.2

Table 2. Gulf Coast Leisure and Hospitality Employment and Wages, Percent of Private Industry Employment and Location Quotients, Third Quarter 2009
Area Establishments, third quarter 2009 September 2009 Third Quarter 2009
Employment Leisure and Hospitality Percent Share of Private Industry Location Quotient Percent Change September 2008-09 Total Wages Average Weekly Wage

Total, Gulf Coast counties

25,694 455,107 14.8 1.2 -0.8 $2,170,679,070 $361

Baldwin County, Alabama

529 9,956 19.8 1.6 1.7 43,535,573 313

Mobile County, Alabama

821 15,247 11.1 0.9 -3.3 53,301,858 268

Bay County, Florida

656 11,792 21.2 1.7 2.6 55,922,707 339

Charlotte County, Florida

368 5,244 16.3 1.3 10.4 19,657,564 284

Citrus County, Florida

287 3,441 12.6 1.0 -5.9 12,524,015 282

Collier County, Florida

998 18,017 19.7 1.6 -8.6 109,970,744 464

Dixie County, Florida

31 221 15.4 1.2 -17.8 759,692 260

Escambia County, Florida

735 13,148 13.4 1.1 -2.1 48,853,272 285

Franklin County, Florida

64 654 30.5 2.5 -4.2 2,995,785 337

Gulf County, Florida

40 465 20.5 1.7 7.4 2,129,094 328

Hernando County, Florida

326 4,848 16.6 1.3 2.9 17,344,042 276

Hillsborough County, Florida

3,080 56,767 11.8 1.0 -2.2 267,441,024 365

Jefferson County, Florida

21 263 14.6 1.2 -9.6 827,454 236

Lee County, Florida

1,681 26,649 17.7 1.4 -1.2 133,641,145 378

Levy County, Florida

105 822 14.1 1.1 -8.2 2,950,014 273

Manatee County, Florida

781 12,160 13.2 1.1 3.5 58,713,285 364

Monroe County, Florida

659 9,767 36.1 2.9 -4.4 69,029,906 526

Okaloosa County, Florida

649 11,809 19.3 1.6 -1.3 55,330,124 334

Pasco County, Florida

790 10,880 14.1 1.1 -1.6 40,245,464 284

Pinellas County, Florida

2,736 42,474 12.4 1.0 -2.5 227,399,595 404

Santa Rosa County, Florida

286 4,238 17.1 1.4 14.2 13,781,669 251

Sarasota County, Florida

1,140 18,220 15.7 1.3 -2.8 91,427,151 381

Taylor County, Florida

42 461 9.2 0.7 -11.9 1,610,754 256

Wakulla County, Florida

50 592 17.0 1.4 1.5 1,732,193 234

Walton County, Florida

236 4,302 28.2 2.3 -1.7 28,010,487 457

Cameron Parish, Louisiana

6 45 2.3 0.2 9.8 180,334 328

Iberia Parish, Louisiana

108 1,826 6.7 0.5 0.0 5,427,153 224

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

1,256 21,830 12.9 1.0 1.1 125,036,006 433

Lafourche Parish, Louisiana

185 2,620 8.7 0.7 8.2 8,741,686 259

Orleans Parish, Louisiana

1,331 30,735 23.1 1.9 1.9 189,447,006 479

Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana

61 771 6.5 0.5 3.5 5,287,809 502

St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana

83 927 12.1 1.0 15.0 3,593,181 289

St. Mary Parish, Louisiana

121 1,926 9.1 0.7 -3.4 8,298,575 323

St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana

626 9,977 16.5 1.3 1.0 36,679,292 275

Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana

264 4,738 10.1 0.8 -3.1 20,422,369 325

Vermilion Parish, Louisiana

82 996 9.4 0.8 3.8 3,223,107 240

Hancock County, Mississippi

96 2,381 24.6 2.0 -2.7 13,589,990 435

Harrison County, Mississippi

464 19,037 29.3 2.4 -6.9 110,574,778 441

Jackson County, Mississippi

291 4,244 10.5 0.8 2.9 15,105,857 272

Aransas County, Texas

93 1,272 28.3 2.3 -0.3 4,523,782 269

Brazoria County, Texas

443 7,938 12.2 1.0 12.5 29,595,532 281

Calhoun County, Texas

62 675 8.4 0.7 -2.3 1,905,760 216

Cameron County, Texas

642 11,584 12.5 1.0 -0.4 44,049,585 281

Chambers County, Texas

58 1,082 13.9 1.1 25.1 2,994,607 207

Galveston County, Texas

626 14,337 21.5 1.7 2.3 58,796,470 305

Jackson County, Texas

27 277 7.3 0.6 -1.4 759,448 213

Jefferson County, Texas

473 11,164 11.2 0.9 4.4 43,151,631 297

Kenedy County, Texas

3 11 3.6 0.3 10.0 84,925 594

Kleberg County, Texas

70 1,294 16.6 1.3 1.6 3,868,613 234

Matagorda County, Texas

90 1,025 11.7 0.9 -10.9 3,632,583 266

Nueces County, Texas

864 17,636 14.6 1.2 -0.4 65,742,968 282

San Patricio County, Texas

127 2,063 15.5 1.3 2.3 6,084,883 225

Willacy County, Texas

31 259 10.9 0.9 -11.0 746,529 215

More information on employment and wages in the Gulf Coast area and in the leisure and hospitality industry are available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/cew/ or by telephone at (202) 691-6567.

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), June 18, 2010. Data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

Notes

[1] See "General Facts about the Gulf of Mexico," Environmental Protection Agency, on the Internet at www.epa.gov/gmpo/about/facts.html.

[2] A location quotient is calculated by dividing the percent employed in an industry in a given region by the percent employed nationally in that industry. Location quotients greater than 1.0 indicate that the area has proportionately more workers in a specific industry than the comparison area (e.g., United States). For example, a location quotient of 2.0 indicates that twice the percentage of workers are employed in a specific industry than the percentage employed nationally for that industry. A high or low location quotient for an industry in a region does not necessarily indicate high or low employment levels in that industry. More information on location quotients can be found at the following Web site: www.bls.gov/cew/cewlq.htm.